German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged on Monday his EU counterparts to give the green light for the preparation of additional sanctions on Russia at a meeting in Brussels.
“I am in favour of ordering the preparation of additional sanctions, of listings of specific persons,” Maas said at his arrival for the talks. He underscored that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had not only been sentenced to a prison term, but also to serve this term in a penal camp.
“At the same time we need to talk about how to keep up a constructive dialogue with Russia, even as relations certainly have reached a low,” Maas added. Diplomats have said that the European Union is set to prepare travel bans and asset freezes on allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to the jailing of Navalny.
Maas also added that the European Union may impose sanctions on Myanmar as a last resort after a military coup and a crackdown on the opposition in the country.
“We are not prepared to stand by and watch,” Maas said on his arrival in Brussels. “We will use all diplomatic channels to push for a de-escalation in Myanmar but at the same time, as a last resort, prepare sanctions on the military regime in Myanmar.”
Three weeks after seizing power, the junta in Myanmar has failed to stop daily protests and a civil disobedience movement calling for the reversal of the Feb. 1 coup and release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Main Photo: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks to the media as he arrives to attend an EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 22 February 2021. EPA-EFE/YVES HERMAN / POOL